When It Comes to War, Obama and Bush Think Alike

But 44 needs to make his case to America
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 3, 2011 10:17 AM CST
President Barack Obama walks into the Oval Office with former President George W. Bush, left, and former President Bill Clinton, center, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

(Newser) – When it comes to war, Presidents Bush and Obama really aren’t so different, writes Stephen Carter in Newsweek. While Obama was perceived as the peace candidate, “the office of the presidency, once assumed, transforms the outlook of its holder.” To wit: Obama is essentially recycling Bush's Iraq strategy for Afghanistan, and has expanded the targets in the fight against terror. He's "adopted wholeheartedly what we might call the Bush doctrine's political science" of preemptive strikes. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are "his wars now, nobody else's."

Of course, just because the presidents agree doesn't mean they're right; Carter suspects, on many issues, they're not. But it "does suggest that some of the more wildly hyperbolic critics of President Bush may owe him an apology. Otherwise, by muting themselves now, they might seem to be playing partisan games with the lives of American service members—and the lives of those we ask them to kill."

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